Knee replacement may be an option when nonsurgical interventions such as medication, physical therapy, and the use of a cane or other walking aid no longer help alleviate the pain. Other possible signs include aching in the joint, followed by periods of relative relief; pain after extensive use; loss of mobility; joint stiffness after periods of inactivity or rest; and/or pain that seems to increase in humid weather.
Here are some questions that may be helpful to ask your doctor when considering hip surgery. We suggest you print this list and take it with you to your appointment. It’s also a good idea to keep a record of your hip pain to share with your doctor at the same time.
As we age, hip fractures become more and more common. Not only are we more likely to fall, our bones become less dense, making them more likely to fracture. And if you have osteoporosis, it doesn’t necessarily take a traumatic event to cause a fracture. It can occur during simple, everyday activities.
When it comes to relieving hip pain, there are many different treatment options. Success varies not only by each individual’s hip, but also by what’s causing your hip pain. Care for arthritis pain, for example, often involves a combination of treatments. Be sure to consult your doctor to discuss the best treatment plan for you.
Most people will not need hip surgery, but in many cases, surgery may be effective in minimizing or eliminating your hip pain when other treatment methods have failed. Many advances have been made, allowing for surgical procedures that are much less invasive. Such minimally invasive procedures are revolutionizing the way patients experience and recover from surgery, often resulting in less pain after the operation, a faster recovery period, and a shorter hospital stay.
Hip replacements are not "one size fits all." A properly sized and shaped joint, and the positioning of the joint during surgery, are vital in meeting patient needs. And just like a natural hip, how well the materials in an artificial hip withstand the wear and tear that come with everyday use and rotation of the hip joint contributes to how long the replacement will last.
Hip replacement surgery is similar to having most things fixed—worn parts are taken out, and new parts are installed in their places. In hip surgery, the damaged portions of your hip are removed and replaced with metal and plastic implants.